Hot Creek Geological Area is reached by driving along Owens River Road
, which forks off US 395 next to Mammoth Lake Airport. There is no access charge. The road is paved at first then gravel, and after 3.3 miles passes a parking area with rest rooms and picnic tables, from where a short path leads down to the edge of Hot Creek, here flowing through a shallow rhyolite canyon 100 feet deep. There is one thermal area on the far side of the creek and another just downstream, though both can only be viewed from a distance, as new access restrictions were introduced in summer 2006 following renewed geological activity. Several new vents appeared, water in some of the existing pools became hotter, arsenic levels grew, and the springs started to erupt unpredictably (though still infrequently), accompanying a general uplift of the center of the Long Valley Caldera
, and an increased occurrence of minor earthquakes. The springs are now fenced off, swimming in the pools or creek is no longer allowed, and many notices warn of the danger of leaving the footpath - constraints likely to continue indefinitely. Besides those viewing the hot springs, the creek is also popular with anglers, and has unrestricted access just upstream, including several other roadside entry points. Tui chub, rainbow trout and brook trout are the main species that may be caught.